The Collage Workbook – GIVEAWAY!

June 15, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

To celebrate this month’s publication of The Collage Workbook we’re offering up to you a very special giveaway. For those of you unfamiliar with author Randel Plowman’s work, just take a few minutes to peruse the collection of collages on display at his inspiring A Collage A Day site. You will thank me. From abstract to narrative, poetic to humorous, Randel’s small format collages demonstrate some of the key design and creativity prompts outlined in the book.

One very lucky Lark Crafts reader will not only win a copy of The Collage Workbook but also a signed, matted, and framed original collage by Randel, complete with certificate of authenticity. This is a seriously fabulous prize.

How can you enter for a chance to win? Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, June 21. Any comment will do, but why don’t you tell us whether or not you already collage or would simply like to give it a try.  One winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday, June 22. Click here for the official rules. This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Emily for winning!

Want to know more about the book? Just click HERE to read my previous post.


Giveaway: Merry Mermaid from We Make Dolls

June 14, 2012, 12:32 pm  Posted by needlearts

Community pools are open, the water is getting warmer at the beach, and we’re ready to make a splash with this week’s free project. That’s right: even the puns around here are summer-themed now that it’s June!

To celebrate the warmer weather, we’re giving away Merry Mermaid from We Make Dolls two ways this week: You can comment for a chance to win the actual project from the book, or you can download a PDF of the project instructions and make it yourself!

Look familiar? Maybe it’s because this popular project comes from Danita Art. Those of you who visit her blog already know she dabbles in many mediums, including mixed-media and jewelry. You probably also know her for her vibrant use of color. If you haven’t already, stop by Danita’s blog or see her colorful cast of characters in her Etsy shop.

To enter for a chance to win the one and only Merry Mermaid, sewn and stuffed as you see here, please leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Friday, June 15. Monday, June 25. Any comment is fine—though we’d love to hear what you’re planning to make first this summer. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Monday, June 18 Wednesday, June 27. Tina W. is the winner!

Click here for the official rules.

Don’t despair if you don’t win. You can make your very own mermaid! To download the project, just follow the links below.

Download the Merry Mermaid instructions.

Download the Merry Mermaid templates.


We Make Dolls! A book preview

June 13, 2012, 15:44 pm  Posted by Lark

We’re so excited: this month has been a great one for new Lark titles hitting shelves, and we’re thrilled about the release of We Make Dolls! by Jenny Doh. This book features how-to instructions for 23 super-special dolls made by 10 incredible artists, complete with step-by-step photos and templates for each creation. Seriously, this book is awesome.

Want to learn more about the talented designers featured in We Make Dolls!? Of course you do. Visit their blogs, learn about their work, and generally applaud their creativity:

Suse Bauer :: Revoluzzza

Nichol Brinkman :: Pink Cheeks Studio

Danita :: Danita Art

Jenn Docherty :: JennDocherty.com

Ana Fernandes :: Pink Nounou

Denise Ferragamo :: DeniseFerragamo.com

Mimi Kirchner :: MimiKirchner.com

Maria Madeira :: Kase-Faz Shop

Sasha Pokrass :: Sasha Pokrass on Etsy

Katie Shelton :: Skunk Boy Creatures


And now for a bit of a sneak peek at some of the projects:

Frida Kahlo doll
Frida by Danita

Frida, whose artistic gaze catches yours, and whose loopy, gorgeous hair is bedecked with a crocheted flower. Raise your hands in the air for art!


teddy bear with orange scarf
Magician Bear by Sahsa Pokrass

The Magician Bear, with his top hat and fiery scarf. You’ll be so enamored with his personality that you’ll miss the sleight of hand.


strongman doll with black beard and green unitard
Mr. Strong by Nichol Brinkman

 Mr. Strong, striking a muscular pose in a dashing blue and green unitard.


brown needle felted bunny with a striped shirt and yellow flower
Balancing Bunny by Jenn Docherty

The Balancing Bunny, flower in hand, melting your heart (really, melting!) with his too-cute needle felted expression.


Red Riding Hood doll
Red Riding Hood by Suse Bauer

Red Riding Hood, sporting her polka-dotted hood and rosy-red cheeks, headed off to charm that Big Bad Wolf.


plush lamb doll
Lovely Little Lamb by Katie Shelton

 The Lovely Little Lamb, whose dear little ears and felt-y fleece are perfect for snuggling.


Keep your eyes peeled for another look inside We Make Dolls! later this week, along with a giveaway of the book and a project from the book!

We Make Dolls! is available on BN.com and Amazon.com, as well as at local bookstores.


Free Tutorial: Father’s Day Gift

June 13, 2012, 10:56 am  Posted by Lark

Need a little something extra to add to your Father’s Day gift? You can make these Manly Moustaches by Laura Howard in five easy peasy steps with the attached free tutorial. You’ll find this project and an entire year’s worth of gifts, decorations, and inspirations from the designers of the best-selling Fa la la la Felt in our new book Heart-Felt Holidays (and it’s selling online for less than ten bucks!).

Download the instructions here: Manly Moustaches


Mod Podge Rocks! Interview with Amy Anderson

June 11, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

We are so excited about the publication of our new book Mod Podge Rocks! Want to know more about the book? Check out our previous post highlighting some of the many rave reviews it’s been receiving from the blogosphere.

One of the elements that people love so much about the book is the author, popular blogger and craft personality Amy Anderson. I took some time recently to ask Amy some questions about her experience with Mod Podge, blogging, and authoring the book. You can read her responses below. Be sure to check back here for more great Mod Podge Rocks! posts–including free projects and a huge giveaway–in coming weeks.

Q: How long have you been crafting with Mod Podge?

A: “About five years now. I got the crash course by my friends in the PLAID design studio, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My first project was a disaster, but that didn’t stop me. I was determined to master the glue that everyone seemed to love so much. Now that I’m addicted, I totally know why they do!”

Q: Out of all the Mod Podge products do you have a favorite? What is your favorite from the new line of products launched this month?

A: “I love the Hard Coat formula the best, because I love using Mod Podge on furniture. It’s so satisfying to re-do a large item and make it look new again. Wait a second – it’s a tie between that and Dimensional Magic. My favorite from the new line of products is the Glitter Dimensional Magic. I’m so excited to make awesome jewelry. I will pimp out the glitter Dimensional Magic, especially during holiday time!”

Q: What is your favorite project in the book?

A: “That is tough, but I really love the children’s artwork bracelet by Candie Cooper. Children’s artwork is so special and that bracelet is such a great gift.”

Q: Do you have any advice for other bloggers out there considering taking the blog to book leap?

A: “Be ready to work hard! Doing a book is time consuming AND creatively consuming. But the end is well worth it. You just have to anticipate that you will be putting everything you have into the book for awhile, but there will be a huge reward at the end!”

Q: It’s clear from the initial coverage of the book that you are very well connected and beloved in the blogging community. What can you say about the influence on blogging in your own life?

A: “My life has completely changed because of blogging, both personally and professionally. Some of my best friends are bloggers, and we met online. I’m also working as a blogger and freelance writer full time now. I NEVER thought this would be my life. After I got my MBA, I expected to be working at a desk for the rest of my life. I know that I am meant to be doing this, and I am happy. It’s a great feeling.”

Keep up with Amy Anderson and her passion for all things Mod Podge on her blog Mod Podge Rocks!


The Collage Workbook

June 08, 2012, 16:00 pm  Posted by Lark

I discovered Randel Plowman quite some time ago through his wonderful and widely celebrated blog A Collage A Day, a visual chronicle of his own six-year (!) creative endeavor to make one collage every single day. As a longtime collage artists and admirer myself, I was immediately hooked by Randel’s accessible approach to the craft and his contagious enthusiasm behind collage as a means for creative expression. In one of those magical moments when personal and professional interests collide, I was able to approach him with the idea of transforming his unique perspectives and techniques into a book.

This month we celebrate the publication of The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired. Now, for the first time, Randel shares his signature tips, techniques, and creativity prompts. This hands-on guide covers all the necessary materials, tools, and know-how, from adding color and transferring images, to décollage (tearing away layers), basic composition and design, how to make a home press, matting your work, and more. At the heart of the book there are 50 Creativity Exercises (see below for samples) with hundreds of images of Randel’s own work, and helpful insights and inspiring tips to get you started. As a special bonus, there’s even an Image Library in the back, with more than 150 copyright free images to copy, clip, and use.

• All the basics on collage tools & materials
• Step-by-step instructions for all techniques
• 50 creativity exercises to get you started
• Hundreds of Randel’s inspirational collages
• A copyright-free library with over 150 images

With very minimal materials and a little encouragement from Randel and the pages of this book, anyone (yes, even you) can embrace the creative potential of collage.

Visit The Collage Workbook Support Site site Randel created to learn more about him and other collage artists he admires, download bonus copyright-free images, access helpful links to collage resources, and–this is pretty great–share your own collage work inspired by the book.

Are you a Twitter nut? Follow along here: @CollageWorkbook + @rplowman

Randel Plowman’s art has been exhibited in solo and juried exhibitions throughout the United States; in addition, his pieces have appeared in many public and private collections in North America and abroad, including the Cincinnati Art Museum. Plowman’s work has been cited in numerous publications, including The New York Times and USA Today; been showcased in How magazine, Artist Magazine, and Somerset Studio; and featured as cover art on numerous books. He served as the curator on Masters: Collage, a book featuring  the work of over 40 contemporary collage artists. He actively teaches workshops in printmaking and collage. Randel is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Crochet Garden giveaway!

June 08, 2012, 11:15 am  Posted by Lark

We’re quite certain Suzann Thompson’s Crochet Garden is the perfect crochet book for summer vacation: pretty little flowers (and critters!) you can stitch up quick and put anywhere! Not convinced yet? Try a few free projects on for size:

Pasque Flower

Crocheted Roses

Want more? Enter for a chance to win the book! Simply leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 13th. Any comment is fine, but we’d love to hear what’s on your hooks this summer. Or tell us about your favorite flower: you choose! Three winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and notified by Friday, June 15th. Click here for the official rules.

This giveaway is now closed and the winners will be contacted soon. Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment!


Mod Podge Rocks!

June 06, 2012, 08:00 am  Posted by Lark

And you don’t have to take just our word for it. Amy Anderson’s long anticipated book illustrating the fabulousness and versatility of Mod Podge, Mod Podge Rocks!, is now available and throughout the crafting blogosphere word is spreading like wildfire. Check out the links below to hear what they have to say (some are also hosting fun MP giveaways)!

Amy, in case you don’t know, is a Mod Podge devotee and her blog (just like her new book), Mod Podge Rocks!, is dedicated to all things podged. It’s chock-full of inexpensive, trendy, and just plain clever ideas to upcycle and facelift common everyday items in your life to super-awesome status. Check it out.


Tutus & Tea Parties


Dollar Store Crafts                                

Always in Wonder

The Gunny Sack  

More blog reviews after the jump

Continue reading...

Free Project Friday: Linen Wrap Skirt Revamp!

June 01, 2012, 12:00 pm  Posted by Lark

If there’s one thing I love more than creating clothes that I’ll actually wear, it’s transforming something that I once loved so I’ll wear it again. That’s why I’m so inspired by this project from Katherine Shaughnessy’s new book New Crewel: The Motif Collection. Just download the project instructions and the motifs, and you’ve got everything you need to update last summer’s favorite skirt with some lovely crewelwork!

Download the instructions and motifs here: Wraparound Linen Skirt

Happy weekend stitching!